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Man slapped with ticket over festive Christmas display

CALGARY- A man who celebrates Christmas in an eye-catching way is now facing a fine for his festive display.

Slawomir Czyz stops everyone in their tracks when he drives around town, thanks to a life-size display of Santa and Rudolph mounted to the top of his van.

“I used a chair from my brother he had in the garage, and a toboggan from my kids,” he explains.

“Everybody’s stressed running around, and suddenly they see and it’s like, wow!” Czyz laughs, adding he’s become somewhat of a local celebrity. “Those smartphones nowadays, everybody’s ready. Just click click.”

Despite the roars of approval from everyone he crosses paths with, there’s one group that’s not impressed with the seasonal creation: Calgary Police.

Late last week, Czyz was slapped with a $57 ticket.

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“[The officer] said ‘it’s very distracting’ and I said ‘it’s very Christmas. You know, Christmas spirit.”

Police say the lights guiding Santa’s sleigh—including Rudolph’s bright red nose—can be hazardous for other drivers.

“When you see a white light coming at you, that means it’s a car coming,” explains Acting Sgt. Sio Chuong. “And when you see a red light that’s the back of a car, but now we’re all confused.”

He adds that there are also concerns about how stable the display is.

“It does not look very aerodynamic. It could come loose.”

While Czyz doesn’t agree with the rationale behind the ticket, he plans to pay it.

“If I am guilty and I deserve it, yeah I will pay it,” he says. “It’s a small price to pay for a little imagination.”

Calgary Police are reviewing the ticket, but say they still have concerns about the display being an unsafe load.